Stanford Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer (SAYAC) Program Services

The Stanford Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer (SAYAC) Program is designed to help teens and young adults through all parts of their cancer treatment journey. These are some of the most common services we provide, but we are available to help with an even wider range of requests.

Our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Clinic

SAYAC Program Director Pamela Simon, MSN, CPNP, CPON, sees patients at the AYA Cancer Clinic to provide clinical services and AYA support. Contact the clinic at (650) 498-9404 to make an appointment.

Fertility and sexual health consultations

Some cancer treatments can impact your ability to have children in the future. Receiving information and options about fertility and sexual health is vital so that you can make the choice that is right for you. If you are able to choose fertility preservation, we are proud to offer one of the nation’s most comprehensive and progressive treatment programs for fertility preservation and options for future family planning.

Cancer or cancer treatment may impact your fertility, sexual health, body image, or family planning, and we can answer questions and connect you with resources to help.

Questions to ask:

  • Will my cancer or treatment affect my fertility?
  • Is there anything I can do to preserve my fertility before treatment starts? How will this impact my treatment?
  • Will my menstrual period be affected by cancer treatment?
  • Can I have sex while receiving treatment? Can I get pregnant or get my partner pregnant?
  • Can the cancer treatment I receive affect the health of my future children?
  • After treatment, will I feel different about sex?

Survivorship care

Once your treatment is over, we can help you transition into long-term care, also called survivorship care, to ensure that you stay healthy for the long run. Our SAYAC clinic is designed to make the transition to adult care easier by discussing the issues that matter to you and finding tools to help you tackle them, and finding providers who are right for you and understand your cancer history. 

Supportive care

Every teen and young adult dealing with cancer has unique issues that are important to them. We offer services that help you deal with the physical and emotional aspects of cancer and survivorship and support your mental health and a healthy lifestyle.

Connecting with other adolescents and young adults with cancer

Even your closest friends and family may not understand what it’s really like to go through cancer treatment. We can connect you with other people your age who are also going through cancer or have finished their treatment. Whether it’s chatting with a group of your peers, attending a virtual event, or connecting through social media, we can help make the connection.

In addition to our services, here are a few organizations that offer AYA resources and can help you connect with AYAs from all over the world through online communities or, in some cases, in-person events and activities. You can find resources for adventure trips, AYA stories, AYA conferences and hangouts, insurance, and other practical issues related to cancer.

Mental health

A cancer diagnosis can bring up many new feelings and emotions, and treatment is emotionally and physically draining. We can work with you to develop coping strategies and connect you to mental health resources and counseling, as well as other resources that are right for you. Mental health is important after treatment as well. People who were treated for cancer as children may still benefit from mental health resources as they become adolescents and young adults.

Questions to ask:

  • What is scanxiety? What can I do to help with this?
  • What are ways to help if I worry about my cancer coming back?
  • I’m feeling down. Is this normal for patients with cancer, or do I need therapy?

Symptom management

Cancer treatment can have a range of side effects for teens and young adults. We’re here with suggestions to help you find ways to identify and improve your symptoms with traditional and nontraditional solutions.

Questions to ask:

  • What are common symptoms that teens and young adults experience with my type of treatment?
  • What about losing my hair?
  • Can I continue in school or work?

Palliative care

Palliative care for adolescents and young adults with cancer is focused on improving quality of life by tapping into what you really want and need. We work with each patient and his or her care team to ensure that every patient’s needs—physical, mental, social, and spiritual—are met. We can also provide appropriate support when tough decisions need to be made.

School and work

Participating in work or school while receiving treatment can be challenging, and you may have questions about future career or educational goals. We can help with everything from navigating changes to your employer-provided insurance, to managing student loans, to helping you figure out what comes next after treatment is over. Kyle Clawson, our AYA education/career specialist, can help you navigate these issues, as well as provide information about college scholarships available for teens and young adults with cancer.

Questions to ask:

  • Should I consider taking a leave from school or work?
  • Do I want to share my diagnosis with classmates or co-workers?
  • Ask your school or employer how to request reasonable accommodations.
  • Can I take a medical leave of absence, and will this affect my insurance coverage?


  • Cancer and Careers. This site includes information on your legal rights in the workplace and résumé review services, as well as tips on sharing your diagnosis with co-workers, if you choose to do so.
  • Triage Cancer. This organization offers tips for working through treatment, employment rights, and the family and medical leave act (FMLA).
  • Omar’s Dream Foundation. Omar’s Dream Foundation enables hospitalized and medically supervised children to remotely attend school, allowing them to stay connected to their teachers and classmates. The services are free for all qualified students and their educators.

Navigating costs and insurance

Cancer care can be expensive, and understanding costs and insurance coverage is complicated, especially when you need to transition off of your parents’ insurance plan and choose you own plan. We can help you find support for insurance issues and apply for AYA financial grants to help cover some out-of-pocket costs. We work closely with the oncology social work team to help make sure your needs are met.

Financial resources and grants: